The American government does seem to have wisely ended its practice of routinely seeking to listen in on the cell phone calls of friendly leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At their meeting in D.C., the two governments agreed to set up a working group. This bilateral group should consider a new approach to resolving this problem.
Key players in the public and private sector are now working to protect their interests in a world that is shifting from government to "Googlement"-- driven by the unprecedented ability of companies to gather, store, and evaluate vast amounts of personal data. Adding to the challenge will be unabated progress on more invasive technologies such as biometrics, household robotics, smart homes, and connected cars, coupled with widespread adoption of cloud computing.
Even though Putin lectured Obama at length, after forcing him to come to his dacha outside Moscow, about Russia's concerns, with a very special emphasis on Ukraine, the reality that the administration had to deal not with a nice ally and potential buddy but a tough guy with very clearly defined limits did not sink in.